By, Dr. Peter Vourliotis
In Ephesians 2/1-9, everyone is “dead” spiritually and in need of a Spiritual Rebirth.
Spiritual Rebirth is also known as Regeneration and The Born Again experience.
The Greek word “Paliggenesia” is found twice in the New Testament (Matt. 19/28, Titus
3/5). In Matthew it refers to the Second Coming, while in Titus it speaks of the spiritual
or new birth and new life given to us by Christ through the Holy Spirit.
A careful theological reading of Scripture gives the meaning as the act of God that
imparts new and eternal life into a man born in sin.
Some wrongly think spiritual rebirth is achieved by good works or by observing sacred
tenets, church sacraments, special days or other religious acts. The Bible, however, is
silent in all of these as leading to spiritual rebirth.
Two conditions are required from us, and God moves with His double response.
Man’s Two Requirements:
FAITH on Jesus Christ that He died for my sins. John 3/16
GOD’S WORD provides the basis for our faith, so that we know what to believe. 1 Peter
1/23, James 1/18.
God’s Double Response:
When we believe in Jesus Christ on the basis of the Word of God and act upon it by
surrendering our life to Him, God, through the Holy Spirit: A. COOPERATES with us by
providing the grace needed to believe.
B. CREATES THE NEW BIRTH in us at the moment we trust our life to Him.
Regeneration is an instantaneous change that God brings in us. This is confirmed by
the aorist tense in John 1/13, and John 3/3,5,7. It is also confirmed by the perfect tense
used in 1 John 2/29, 3/9, 4/7. Believers are born of the Spirit john 1/12/18.
The new birth produces in us a new nature (2 Cor. 5/17), creating a new capacity to
desire and serve righteousness (Romans 6/18). Then, the believer is able to grow in
Christ by the new life in him. He walks a new walk and is led and filled by the Spirit.
Finally, this new birth will always bear fruit of the new life. The believer will love
righteousness, will resist sin by God’s strength, love his neighbor and overcome the
world. Spiritual rebirth is described as a spiritual resurrection (John. 5/21), brought
about by the power of the Holy Spirit (John. 3/3-7).